Schools renovations, proposition topic of town hall meetings

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The Webster Parish School Board will host two town hall meetings at J.A. Phillips Middle School and Webster Junior High School to discuss the renovations and construction that will take place if a bond extension proposition passes Nov. 21.

The first meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at Phillips. The second meeting will take place at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10, at WJHS.

At the meetings, a brochure will be available to the public outlining the issues at J.E. Harper Elementary School, what the plan includes, and inside, a scaled down site plan which shows the changes.

On Nov. 21, voters will be asked to cast their ballots regarding a bond extension on the current 29-mill property tax. The extension will be for five years. The current property mill will sunset in 2031, but with the extension, it will sunset in 2036.

The five-year extension will fund $7 million in 20-year general obligation bonds to pay for the construction and renovations to take place at Phillips and Webster.

The idea is to close Harper and move kindergarten and first grade students to Phillips. A kindergarten building will be added to the school with renovations inside the main building, expansion of the playground area and improved parking for faculty and staff.

The sixth grade students will be moved to Webster into a new wing to be built at the school. According to the plan by architect Perry Watson, nine classrooms, a computer lab, office and an auxiliary gymnasium will be constructed.

Parking at Webster will also be expanded to accommodate additional faculty and staff needed for the sixth grade.

By Friday, brochures will be sent home with students in bonding district 6. Those include students in school board districts 4 (Jerri “JJ” O’Neal), 5 (Ronnie Rhymes), 6 (John Madden), 7 (Linda Kinsey), 8 (Ronnie Broughton), 9 (Frankie Mitchell) and 10 (Johnnye Kennon).

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